Archive for Ford Focus

Ford Focus RS/ST – just doesn’t do it

Posted in Tech, Transport with tags , , on July 4, 2009 by Apollo

While there’s no denying Ford’s motorsport success and pedigree, but I just can’t get excited about the Ford Focus RS or ST.

Although the words on paper say it is good, whenever I see one, it does nothing for me. There’s nothing interesting about it’s appearance, nothing to draw the eye, and little to suggest that it is desirable. Bigger wheels and a twin exhaust are really only noticeable to the expert, and a casual glance just bypasses it altogether.

The writers and journalists might keep on about it being a challenger to the Impreza and Evo, but it’s simply not in the same class. Even at their most boring, these two give the Ford a run for its money.

An orange RS passed me and stopped at the lights last night, and I’m guessing the owner is in the midst of tweaking it.

The thing sounded like a box of nails – and I don’t mean it was pinking or anything like that. It was literally making the same noise that a box of 4-inch nails makes as you rummage around in it when fishing out a handful. He was driving very slowly, and as he pulled away from the light, the exhaust went through all sorts of resonances – it was very odd, and the resonances were at relatively high frequencies, as if there were narrow pipes in the system, rather than the more usual wide bore efforts.

I couldn’t fathom it at all – and the only thing that came to mind was that he had perhaps blown the turbo, and was limping around with the remains until he could afford get it fixed.

That’s always been my worry about owning one of the Japanese cars, as the turbos on the road cars seem to be a bit fragile. I’ve been to a few track days, and it’s not unusual to see at least one of them come to a crawling and embarrassing stop in the midst of a demonstration of their power, as something goes “pop” and the engine dies, leaving them to limp, or be pushed off the track.